Kitty the Lion (4 stars)

The Goat, Glasgow, Thu 18 Mar

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Kitty the Lion

What’s with the animal theme tonight? Kittens, lions and goats? Still, at least the archetypal gruffness of the latter is absent tonight, in favour of more delicate and delectable sensibilities, as Kitty the Lion – aka Glasgow songstress Anna Meldrum and co – are here on solely acoustic duties, minus two members and drums. Candles flicker behind their heads as they shuffle through their folk-pop repertoire, including the jaunty ‘Lion In the Bed’ and ‘Birdseed’ (animals again), but it’s the marriage of these masterfully melodic tunes and the self-confessed awkward unfamiliarness of this stripped-down setting that makes this set really begin to tug at the heartstrings.

Barriers are broken down as Meldrum coyly quips between songs – and nearly cracks up during them too – and as deathly silence falls before set closer ‘Catalytic Converter’ in this West End pub, it’s not pained boredom that makes the room ghostly quiet, but a mix of fevered admiration, and a crowd that’s found itself captivated and charmed. Even without the full band, this was still big on smiles and dainty panache. Gruff? Not a chance.

Kitty the Lion play CCA, Glasgow, Fri 1 Apr; GRV, Edinburgh, Wed 21 Apr.

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